What do Data Entry Jobs do?

what do data entry jobs do

If you’ve seen data entry jobs advertised, you may have been curious as to just what this type of position is all about.

If you’re in the market for a new job, data entry is huge at the moment and is certainly something you should look into as it often comes with some great benefits such as flexible working hours and remote working opportunities.

what do data entry jobs do

What is data entry?

Simply put, data entry jobs involve transferring data from one place to another in order for it to be usable.

This could be a physical process, perhaps transcribing written notes and storing them in a database.

For example, historical medical records gathered prior to the digital revolution now need to be digitized to be added to an online database.

However, these days, many data entry positions involve purely digital data so this work can often be completed remotely.

Data entry is all about making data useful, ensuring it is accurate and inputting it into a system from which reports can be generated or analyses made.

Data entry can be varied and interesting

Data entry can be repetitive and tedious, which is something you need to be able to cope with if you’re going into this field, but it can also be rewarding and diverse.

You may be hired by one company as their full-time data entry specialist, but many people work as freelance data entry personnel, working across businesses as and when their skills are required.

This brings flexibility, and it also ensures a mixture of different tasks.

There could be many types of data involved

You could be dealing with several different types of data.

You might be simply copying and pasting information from emails or documents into a spreadsheet, but equally, you may be required to listen to telephone messages and input their content into a database, or make sense of handwritten notes, compress the content into atomic facts, and add these into the company’s computer system.

Updating and maintenance

A data entry job will often go beyond simply inputting data.

As a data entry clerk, you may be in charge of regularly checking data to ensure it is up-to-date and accurate.

You may also need to keep the software holding the data up to date, secure and fully functioning.

Technical expertise is always advantageous when working in data entry. We’ve written a full guide on the skills you need to become a data entry clerk which is worth a read to explore this topic further.

Attention to detail is paramount

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of a data entry job is ensuring all data is accurate and error-free.

This data is being stored because it is important and valuable, so it’s up to the data entry clerk to make sure that there are no discrepancies in the data.

The best data entry professionals will have a high level of spelling and grammar, a great eye for detail and excellent proofreading skills.

Running reports and analysing data

As well as inputting the data, a data entry job can also involve the extraction of data.

The whole point of gathering all this information is for it to be used at a later date, and so this task could form part of the work of a data entry specialist.

It could be that the head of the company wants sales figures for a particular period of time, or maybe there’s a discrepancy that needs to be delved into in more detail.

While many systems are set up to generate reports and analyse data automatically, there will always be some use cases that need extra intervention, and this task could well fall to the data entry workers.

Creating and securely storing backups

Another task that may be within the remit of the data entry clerk is backing up the data.

After all, if you’ve spent hours uploading data, it would be a nightmare if that were all lost due to a server issue or a hacker attack.

Reports of hacking are on the rise, with some research showing that 70% of businesses fell victim to ransomware attacks in the last 12 months.

While data entry workers are unlikely to be responsible for the security of the data overall, they could be required to regularly back up their work and ensure a copy of the data is held in another secure environment, be that a cloud storage solution or simply periodically backed up to an external drive.

Verifying data

Another interesting task that can fall under the data entry umbrella is data verification.

Data is gathered in large quantities, perhaps over several years. As time passes, some data can become outdated.

For example, a database for a mail-order company sends out regular emails and physical catalogues to previous customers.

Sending out mail comes at a price, and that’s a huge waste of money if the customer’s address is no longer valid.

As a data entry clerk, it could be your job to validate this data to ensure the customer is still at that address and would like to remain on the mailing list.


Data entry work also involves a lot of communication.

The tasks may involve some complex procedures and detailed guidelines that will need to be communicated.

The job may involve answering telephone calls or emails and adding the resulting data to the company’s online system.

Adherence to security and data protection requirements

When you’re dealing with people’s personal information, there are strict legal requirements in place to protect this data.

A data entry specialist needs to be fully compliant with all these requirements and understand the laws regarding data protection.

Interested in a career in data entry?

Is data entry a viable choice for you?

The world runs on data, and so there are many positions out there for skilled data entry specialists.

Data entry could be the perfect job for you if you have some of the following skills…

  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Great proofreading skills
  • A proficient level of English
  • At least basic-level numeracy skills
  • Any programming skills
  • A good telephone manner
  • A positive attitude
  • Motivation, particularly when working remotely
  • The ability to focus and work under pressure
  • Fast and accurate typing skills
  • Familiarity with popular data entry software and platforms

If this sounds like you, then you could well be on your way to a new career as a successful data entry specialist.

Get familiar with the skills required to become a data entry specialist, consider getting your data entry certification, and then dive in!

Good luck!

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